30:5 For his anger lasts only a brief moment,
and his good favor restores one’s life. 1
One may experience sorrow during the night,
but joy arrives in the morning. 2
with death as their shepherd. 8
Sheol will consume their bodies and they will no longer live in impressive houses. 11
59:16 As for me, I will sing about your strength;
I will praise your loyal love in the morning.
For you are my refuge 12
and my place of shelter when I face trouble. 13
for I trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, 15
because I long for you. 16
1 tn Heb “for [there is] a moment in his anger, [but] life in his favor.” Because of the parallelism with “moment,” some understand חַיִּים (khayyim) in a quantitative sense: “lifetime” (cf. NIV, NRSV). However, the immediate context, which emphasizes deliverance from death (see v. 3), suggests that חַיִּים has a qualitative sense: “physical life” or even “prosperous life” (cf. NEB “in his favour there is life”).
2 tn Heb “in the evening weeping comes to lodge, but at morning a shout of joy.” “Weeping” is personified here as a traveler who lodges with one temporarily.
4 tn Another option is to translate the imperfect verbal form as future, “it will not be upended.” Even if one chooses this option, the future tense must be understood in a generalizing sense. The verb מוֹט (mot), translated “upended” here, is used in v. 2 of the mountains “tumbling” into the seas and in v. 6 of nations being “upended.” By way of contrast, Jerusalem, God’s dwelling place, is secure and immune from such turmoil and destruction.
5 tn Or “helps her.” The imperfect draws attention to the generalizing character of the statement.
sn At the break of dawn. The “morning” is viewed metaphorically as a time of deliverance and vindication after the dark “night” of trouble (see Ps 30:5; Isa 17:14). There may be an allusion here to Exod 14:27 (where the Lord destroyed the Egyptians at the “break of dawn”) or, more likely, to the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem from the Assyrian siege, when the people discovered the dead bodies of the Assyrian army in the morning (Isa 37:36).
7 tn Heb “like sheep to Sheol they are appointed.” The verb form שַׁתּוּ (shatu) is apparently derived from שָׁתַת (shatat), which appears to be a variant of the more common שִׁית (shiyt, “to place; to set”; BDB 1060 s.v. שָׁתַת and GKC 183 §67.ee). Some scholars emend the text to שָׁחוּ (shakhu; from the verbal root שׁוּח [shukh, “sink down”]) and read “they descend.” The present translation assumes an emendation to שָׁטוּ (shatu; from the verbal root שׁוּט [shut, “go; wander”]), “they travel, wander.” (The letter tet [ט] and tav [ת] sound similar; a scribe transcribing from dictation could easily confuse them.) The perfect verbal form is used in a rhetorical manner to speak of their destiny as if it were already realized (the so-called perfect of certitude or prophetic perfect).
8 tn Heb “death will shepherd them,” that is, death itself (personified here as a shepherd) will lead them like a flock of helpless, unsuspecting sheep to Sheol, the underworld, the land of the dead.
10 tn Heb “will rule over them in the morning.” “Morning” here is a metaphor for a time of deliverance and vindication after the dark “night” of trouble (see Pss 30:5; 46:5; 59:16; 90:14; 143:8; Isa 17:14). In this context the psalmist confidently anticipates a day of vindication when the
11 tn Heb “their form [will become an object] for the consuming of Sheol, from a lofty residence, to him.” The meaning of this syntactically difficult text is uncertain. The translation assumes that צוּר (tsur, “form”; this is the Qere [marginal] reading; the Kethib has צִירָם [tsiram, “their image”]) refers to their physical form or bodies. “Sheol” is taken as the subject of “consume” (on the implied “become” before the infinitive “to consume” see GKC 349 §114.k). The preposition מִן (min) prefixed to “lofty residence” is understood as privative, “away from; so as not.” The preposition -ל (lamed) is possessive, while the third person pronominal suffix is understood as a representative singular.
13 tn Heb “and my shelter in the day of my distress.”
14 tn Heb “cause me to hear in the morning your loyal love.” Here “loyal love” probably stands metonymically for an oracle of assurance promising God’s intervention as an expression of his loyal love.
sn The morning is sometimes viewed as the time of divine intervention (see Pss 30:5; 59:16; 90:14).
16 tn Heb “for to you I lift up my life.” The Hebrew expression נָאָשׂ נֶפֶשׁ (na’as nefesh, “to lift up [one’s] life”) means “to desire; to long for” (see Deut 24:15; Prov 19:18; Jer 22:27; 44:14; Hos 4:8, as well as H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament, 16).